The National Union of Agricultural Industry Workers of Colombia (Sintrainagro) has expressed its concern about the situation of many banana workers who have had to carry out the mandatory quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When they test positive for the new coronavirus, workers in the sector who have lost working hours, are compensated by social security (the Health Promotion Entity, EPS ) and receive payment for their in ability to work. But once they test negative, they lose their wages.
There are many more who test negative than positive and often they must spend a month in isolation before they can return to work.
“Neither the EPS responds to them for the payment of the salary not received during the time of isolation nor do the banana businessmen“, Sintrainagro points out in a letter sent to President Iván Duque .
“We have exhausted all resources with EPS , with employers, with the Ministry of Labor, with the superintendent of Health, with the Ministry of Health and we have had no response.“
“This is becoming a very serious situation, because there are workers who, out of necessity, after being isolated, return to the farms without completing the procedure, which can affect many more,” he adds.
Banana workers, totaling about 25,000, are part of an economic sector declared essential, and have not stopped working while also being permanently exposed to contracting the virus .
“We are a responsible and respectful law abiding union,” recalls Sintrainagro, in demanding the intervention of President Duque to solve this irregularity.
This article reproduced from www.rel-uita.org
Photo: Gerardo Iglesias | Rel UITA